New 2021 Audi RS3 promises sharper and more exciting handling
Audi is just about ready to launch its fiery new RS3. Designed to take on the likes of the Mercedes-AMG A45 S, this hyper-hatch (a saloon variant will also available, if that's more your thing) is powered by Ingolstadt's formidable 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine that's now been tuned to deliver an unchanged 294kW across a slightly broader rev-range: 5,700 to 7,000rpm versus 5,850 to 7,000rpm in the previous model.
This enhanced tractability has also been complemented by a boost in torque. 500Nm (an extra 20Nm) is on tap between 2,250 and 5,600rpm. As you would expect, these numbers translate into some mightily impressive performance figures. In full-attack mode the all-new Audi RS3 is claimed to scorch from standstill to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds. Maximum speed is limited to 280km/h but this can be extended to 290km/h should you so wish.
The Audi engineers have also been working tirelessly on advancing the handling of the RS3. Consequently this model debuts with the firm's newly developed “RS Torque Splitter” rear differential, that can seamlessly distribute power between the two rear wheels depending on the driver mode selected. In “Dynamic Mode” this savvy system will send more torque to the outside rear wheel for increased traction and cornering stability. However in “RS Torque Rear Mode” it will send 100% of available torque to the outside wheel, which makes the RS3 way more tail-happy that it's ever been before.
Other enhancements come in the form of a thoroughly revamped front-end that sports a wider track, model-specific pivot bearings and stiffer lower wishbones and stabilisers.